CPP blasts Aquino hypocrisy over sin tax law

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
December 21, 2012

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today blasted the Aquino regime for its hypocrisy over the enactment of the so-called Sin Tax law which is being billed as a boost to the government's budget for health services when at the same time it is moving forward with its program of corporatization and privatization of public health care. The Sin Tax Law was signed yesterday by Aquino.

"The enactment of the Sin Tax law is part of Aquino's continuing compliance with policy dictates of the International Monetary Fund and other financial institutions," said the CPP. "That the additional revenue will accrue to health care is a complete lie and simply aims to deceive the people into making the additional tax burden palatable." The Sin Tax law aims to generate P248.49 billion over the next five years.

"Behind all the hype regarding the so-called sin taxes, they comprise nothing but an additional tax imposition on the people whose aim is to allow Aquino to continue with his antipeople budget policies that are geared to servicing foreign debt, privatization programs and the fattening of the AFP and PNP for heightened militarization and war campaigns especially in the countryside," added the CPP.

The CPP pointed out that the Aquino regime has alloted only P53.8 billion for public health care in the recently signed 2013 budget, which is only a little more than 15% of the P333.9 billion allocated for foreign debt servicing. This amount is less than 10% of the P527 billion for public health, or 5% of the Philippine gross domestic product recommended by international health agencies.

"While making claims that the Sin Tax law aims to improve public health care, the Aquino regime has gone on a rampage in its privatization and corporatization of public hospitals, further making public health care beyond the reach of working people," said the CPP.

The Aquino regime, through the National Housing Authority, has recently sold more than 16,000 square meters of prime public land under the National Kidney Transplant Institute (NKTI) to SM Development Corporation of big comprador Henry Sy. It is also bent on selling prime real estate owned by the National Center for Mental Health and the Welfareville Property in Mandaluyong. The Philippine Orthopedic Center in Quezon City is up for bidding in January 2013.

"At the same time, Aquino has been encouraging so-called Public-Private Partnership projects in public hospitals such as the NKTI, the San Lazaro Hospital and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). Boosted by the corporatization policy of public hospitals, private companies are having a heyday in imposing increases in fees of public hospital services such as x-rays and ultrasound," pointed out the CPP.

"Aquino is a hypocrite in claiming that the Sin Tax law is a public health effort to reduce smoking and alcohol addiction by raising their prices, when the ultimate aim is to raise revenues from the pockets of the people," pointed out the CPP.

"The Aquino regime is only taking advantage of the widespread problem of nicotine addiction and alcoholism by imposing additional taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic products."

"The reactionary Aquino regime actually supports the big compradors in the tobacco industry such as Lucio Tan and the big multinational corporations by allowing them to continue the exploitation of tobacco farmers," added the CPP.